Sport

Sri Lanka’s World Cup team lacks confidence, Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning trio says

27 January 2015 - 796   - 0

Three of Sri Lanka’s greatest-ever cricketers – Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva and Muttiah Muralitharan – strongly believe the current Sri Lanka squad for the upcoming World Cup cricket tournament lacks confidence and may not deliver the goods.

While expressing the hope that Sri Lanka will – despite similar odds in the past,  the team has managed to scrape through to the semi-finals – reach the semi-finals, the trio told an exclusive panel discussion presented by the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) in association with Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts on Monday, that there were serious issues of confidence, and in bowling and team management.

“When we were playing, the dressing room was exclusively the preserve of the players – 15 in the squad – plus the coach. Now the dressing room has (the team and) 12 outsiders. This is the level of interference,” noted Mr. Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning captain and now Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation.

Mr. Muralitharan, also a member of the 1996 team, was strong in his criticism of the bowling composition in the team essentially lacking the killer instinct, which has been seen in the side losing the latest one-day series to New Zealand.

Mr. de Silva, who in 1996 was considered one of the best batsmen in the world and who hit a match winning century in the 1996 final against Australia, said he was unhappy with the selection of openers, and the battling, and explained the reasons why. He also believed that something needs to be done to lift the team’s lack of confidence.

The panel discussion titled “ICC World Cup: Can Sri Lanka repeat its 1996 success?” was held on board 8 Degrees, the floating restaurant at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. – Ends -

 panel discussion

 

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